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With its turd-burning toilet, this tiny house is for septic skeptics

True Studio by Modern Dwellings Inc
Modern Dwellings Inc

We write a lot about tiny houses, and deservedly so, because so many of them are pretty cool. Our latest entry is the True Studio, designed by Oregon-based Modern Dwellings, that offers a modern, versatile residence with, among other things, a voice-controlled smart home system, heated floors, and an incinerating toilet.

Yep, this smart home nukes your poop. Welcome to the future.

This newly available tiny house is created out of a shipping container, offering a solid, sleek and sustainable residence that’s perfect for singles or couples who want to create an additional place to live on their property or generate rental income in their backyard. Modern Dwellings says that their product is ideal as a vacation rental, a studio space, an extra living space, or a full-time home.

Erick J. Haglund founded Modern Dwellings three years ago to create an abode that was modern, sustainable, and ready to incorporate smart home technologies.

“Modern Dwellings are nearly indestructible as they are created out of recycled resources — shipping containers and a salvaged old growth Douglas Fir product line from Columbia Riverwood — and they are merged with efficient, modern designs that can easily integrate a variety of technologies,” Haglund told Digital Trends via a representative. “Modern Dwellings includes everything that meets the tiny home movement as a small, functional space yet it can be put on a foundation as real estate and is an engineered structure, making it a great lifestyle choice.”

“Enter the incinerating toilet. It completely burns human waste into a pile of ash.”

The interior is mostly designed for living and sleeping, featuring a double bed and a limited amount of storage space as well as a kitchen with an oven and a propane-powered four-burner stove, a sink and a refrigerator, as well as a dining table with seating for two.

The 160 square-foot flat starts at $55,000, but the company is offering a remarkable amount of customization. Among the upgrade options available are a Tesla solar system, a covered upper deck, radiant floor heating, an outdoor shower, a rainwater collection system and options to take the residence completely off the grid thanks to solar and wind technology.

The company also has a fully functional True Studio along the Alsea River in Oregon that interested parties can try out via Airbnb during the spring, summer and fall. If a renter decides to purchase a True Studio, the amount they paid in rental fees will be applied toward their purchase.


Oh, and about that nuclear-sounding toilet: “Oh, you gotta try it out!” said Kristian Strang with Modern Dwellings.

“We weren’t sure how it would play out with our rental guests or even with us, but after being clear that composting toilets were too smelly and messy, we wanted to find another sustainable option,” Strang said. “Enter the incinerating toilet. It completely burns human waste into a pile of ash. It uses minimal electricity, it uses no water, and you don’t interrupt the Earth with sewer/septic work. We’ve even found that placing a bit of white sage to burn with it gives it a lovely smell.”

Tiny homes are getting more and more sophisticated, and the True Studio is no exception. The dwelling is insulated with closed-cell spray for a high R rating — this relatively new home repair solution is the only flood damage-resistant insulation material according to the Federal Management Emergency Agency (FEMA), earning FEMA’s highest rating for water resistance.

The True Studio also includes a ductless mini-split heating and cooling system that is energy efficient — one side of the container home opens up the home to the outside. Besides the obvious sustainability attractions and the convenience of micro-living, Modern Dwellings has also invested a lot in the craftsmanship of each True Home.

Taking inspiration from the company’s Oregon roots, each True Studio features reclaimed old growth Douglas Fir floors, countertops, doors and windows, all straight from the Columbia River.

As far as the law goes, the True Studio can reside on any land you own or have legal access to use, be it a backyard, a lot, your driveway or the front yard. It can also be moved or shipped with the proper trucking equipment.

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